Police have arrested a man on suspicion of a series of thefts on CSU campus who has previously been apprehended twice for stealing student’s property.
David Gutzke, 41, was arrested Monday at 4:45 p.m at 230 E. Mountain St. in front of the Food Co-Op after one of his alleged victims recognized him from video surveillance photos released by CSU’s Public Safety Team.
Gutzke is currently being held in Larimer County Jail with a $10,000 bond and will remain there until his Sept. 17 court date according to the Larimer County Jail.
He has been charged with one count each of felony second degree burglary, felony criminal impersonation and felony identity theft. He is also charged with two misdemeanor counts of theft, the CSU Public Safety Team said in a news release.
Police have surveillance footage of Gutzke purchasing items and have obtained credit card receipts that verify purchases he made on credit cards stolen from CSU’s campus.
CSU Sgt. Jason Meisner said that personal items, including credit cards, were stolen. Since the investigation is ongoing, Meisner declined to provide specific details on the various items that were stolen or where they were stolen on campus.
The Public Safety Team posted information about the thefts and Gutzke’s arrest on the public safety website at http://safety.colostate.edu/news-archive.aspx.
According to Executive Director of Public Relations Mike Hooker, Students were not notified in any other manner because when PR sends out campus-wide emails to alert the student body of crime on campus, they receive complaints from many students who do not want emails sent to them.
“We put information on the public safety website [about the thefts and subsequent arrest] but didn’t email the students because when we send students emails they email us back and ask us not to email them,” Hooker said.
Hooker said that the Public Safety Team still sends emails about crime on campus, but only when student safety is at risk.
“Someone stealing is a lot different than if someone is running around with a knife,” Hooker said.
This is not Gutzke’s first arrest related to thefts on campus.
His first offense took place on Dec. 15, 2008. CSU student Elizabeth Van Diemen was studying in a study room in the basement of the library with her boyfriend. They left the room for about five minutes and when they returned, her wallet and cellphone were gone.
According to a CSUPD incident report, Van Diemen called the police and her mother after noticing the theft. When her mother called the credit card company to cancel the card, they informed her the card had been used at a Schrader’s convenience store on College Avenue directly across from the university and about a five minute walk from Morgan Library.
Store clerk Erin McGraw thought it was strange that a man was using a credit card with the name Elizabeth on it but no one had informed him of the store policy to ask for identification, according to the incident report.
Twenty minutes after sending out a BOLO (Be On The Lookout) with the suspect’s description, CSUPD Officer Chris Wagner was called to the corner of Prospect Road and College Avenue to investigate a man matching that description.
“He had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from him, his eyes were bloodshot and watery and his speech was slurred,” Wagner said in his incident report.
Gutzke told the officer he only drank a pitcher of beer at Chugs Pub, but his blood alcohol content was .211 and he had two bottles of McCormick Vodka in his pockets: one empty and one half-full.
“Gutzke said he wasn’t trying to cause problems for anyone but he had just been hungry,” Wagner said in his report.
Wagner’s report also quotes Guzke as saying, “I’m sorry to cause her [Van Diemen] any problems.” Wagner also recalled Guzke telling doctors at the hospital that he was homeless and hungry.
According to CSUPD incident reports, Gutzke was also arrested on Feb. 26, 2009 for stealing a laptop computer from a student’s locker in the Morgan Library basement.
On Feb. 18, 2009 library surveillance cameras recorded a man wearing a ski mask crawling through the library. Footage showed the suspect touching file cabinets near the front desk, and police were able to retrieve fingerprints and later identify Gutzke as the suspect.
Gutzke was then apprehended in the library on Feb. 25 after Michaela Sunberg, a community service officer at CSU, called the police when she realized someone was sleeping under the stairs.
“I could hear someone breathing from behind the stacked boxes under the stairs,” Sunberg said in a statement to CSUPD. “They [CSUPD] proceeded to knock on and move the boxes to find a man hiding.”
Senior Reporter Kate Simmons can be reached at email@example.com.